It’s been exactly a week since my plane touched down at the Milan Linate Airport and I walked out of baggage claim to a sea of people. After a few minutes of scanning the crowd, I spotted the program’s driver with “SAI PROGRAMS” scrolling across his phone. My classmate and fellow SAI student, Hannah, and I got into the car, and headed off to our apartment, our home for the next four months. This was the start of an adventure of a lifetime.
Studying in Italy, the design and fashion capital of the world, is an honor. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from a culture that is design-centered, where the products, systems, and standards are all thoughtfully designed. Since getting here, I’ve focused on observing and absorbing as much as possible.
The day after we arrived, our SAI coordinator gave us a tour of the city center. While walking through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a historic shopping area (home to the original Prada!), I noticed the beautiful tiles that covered the walkways. This has reminded me to look everywhere because inspiration can come from even the most unexpected places.
On Tuesday, our group decided to head back to the city. While visiting different buildings in the city, I noticed yet another one of the unique fire extinguishers that are common in public spaces. Italy’s fire extinguishers are propped up by bright red metal rods and identified with a flag, which increases visibility and accessibility.
The next part of the week was spent with NABA faculty and other study abroad students. We were introduced to the campus and were taken on a walking tour of Milano. On Friday, all of the study abroad students went to Torino, Italy, where we toured several design studios. I really enjoyed touring the Nerodiseppia Creative Studio and hearing about their work in textile design.
All-in-all, the first week was packed full of activities and a lot of walking (we walked a total of 46.51 miles this week!). The sites I’ve seen, the food I’ve eaten, and the people I’ve met have made the first week adventurous and exciting.
Our SAI group (which is my family-away-from-home) has planned a trip this weekend to Lake Como and a spring break adventure to Santorini, Greece. I’m excited for classes to start and to continue to meet people from around the world!
Elizabeth is a Spring 2017 Nuova Accademia de Belle Arti (NABA) student from Rochester Institute of Technology.